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Author Topic: Help! St. Johns vs Boston University  (Read 1083 times)

rosie23

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Help! St. Johns vs Boston University
« on: May 09, 2009, 09:30:48 PM »
Hi:  I am trying to choose between full tuition scholarship at St. Johns University vs. $25,000 tuition scholarship at Boston University.  I already have $22,000 debt from undergraduate, need to borrow about $60,000 debt for expenses over the next 3 yrs.  So, this is hefty debt to graduate with, especially in this economy, and it scares me!  St. John's, I'll owe about $82,000; Boston University I'll owe $about $127,000.  (PS: I live in New York and probably will want to work in New York).

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Help! St. Johns vs Boston University
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2009, 10:14:03 PM »
Hi:  I am trying to choose between full tuition scholarship at St. Johns University vs. $25,000 tuition scholarship at Boston University.  I already have $22,000 debt from undergraduate, need to borrow about $60,000 debt for expenses over the next 3 yrs.  So, this is hefty debt to graduate with, especially in this economy, and it scares me!  St. John's, I'll owe about $82,000; Boston University I'll owe $about $127,000.  (PS: I live in New York and probably will want to work in New York).

I have a few questions for you:

1) Is the full tuition scholarship contingent?  If so, what is the contingency?

That makes a big difference.  A full tuition sounds great if there are no strings attached; however, it's not so great if you lost it after the first year and you owe 30 grand per year in tuition, not to mention living expenses!

2) Is the BU scholarship 25 grand per year with no strings attached?  (I'm assuming so since they often don't have any requirements.)

If so, and the St. John's has some strings, BU might be the better choice.  You'd only owe $33,000 or so total in tuition (if I recall correctly; I considered going to BU last year).


Also keep in mind that BU does surprisingly well for NYC, but IIRC it's best to be in the top 1/3rd of top 20% to have a good shot at solid NYC firms.  Of course, that may not be good odds for you, so hopefully  BU and St. John's students can give you some more information about this!

RobWreck

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Re: Help! St. Johns vs Boston University
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2009, 10:20:39 PM »
The SJU scholly requires you to be top 1/2 to maintain, right? What about the BU scholly? Assume you lose both after the first year... what's the money difference like v the job opportunities? While I don't know anything about BU's placement, a grad from a top 20 law school will have better BIGLaw opportunities than a SJU grad. On the flip side, what's your interest in going to law school? If it's public interest or government (ex: DA's office), you have alot more flexibility when you don't have to pay off law school debt. When it comes to non-BIGLaw, I'd give the advantage to SJU's local connections to various government agencies...
Good luck,
Rob
St. John's University School of Law '11
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rosie23

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Re: Help! St. Johns vs Boston University
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 09:38:58 AM »
Thanks!  Those were very helpful points.  If I choose St. Johns, then I will make sure I don't lose that scholarship because it is contingent upon staying in the top half of the class.  As for Boston, you only need to remain in good academic standing.  Since I really do not want to be forced to take a corporate job when I graduate because I don't think that's where my interest lie, I really think for me St. John's no tuition deal is the best idea because of the flexibility I'll have upon graduation with less debt.  But, still, I am torn because BU is a much better school than St. John's, so I'm wondering whether the $45,000 extra debt is justified, taking into account my non-corporate career choice, most likely.  But, this choice of which school I attend will follow me the reest of my life!   

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Help! St. Johns vs Boston University
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 10:27:57 AM »
Thanks!  Those were very helpful points.  If I choose St. Johns, then I will make sure I don't lose that scholarship because it is contingent upon staying in the top half of the class.  As for Boston, you only need to remain in good academic standing.  Since I really do not want to be forced to take a corporate job when I graduate because I don't think that's where my interest lie, I really think for me St. John's no tuition deal is the best idea because of the flexibility I'll have upon graduation with less debt.  But, still, I am torn because BU is a much better school than St. John's, so I'm wondering whether the $45,000 extra debt is justified, taking into account my non-corporate career choice, most likely.  But, this choice of which school I attend will follow me the reest of my life!   

I have a few more points/questions for you to consider:

1) While "only" having to stay in the top half of the class is not bad for a scholarship, grades are somewhat arbitrary.  I know as a 0L that it doesn't feel that way, but it's true.  One bad exam day can screw up your class rank.  Also, there's less pressure on you when you have a scholarship that's not contingent on grades.

2)  Are you positive that you know the career you want?  I ask because many people change their minds once they are in law school.  They might do an externship and find out it's not what they expected, for example.

Of course, you're the only person who (might) know this.

3) Are you positive you want to stay in NYC? 

I hope these questions/points help a little.  For many, choosing the highest-ranked school isn't always the correct path.  (It wasn't the correct path for me, at least.)

RobWreck

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Re: Help! St. Johns vs Boston University
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 10:46:51 AM »
I'll second Unbiased Observer's comments about grades & class rank. Everyone goes into law school thinking they've got a good shot at being in the top 10%, and everyone KNOWS that they're going to be in the top 1/2, but the sad truth is that half the people aren't in top 1/2. Everyone in your class will have comparable capabilities and drive to you... that's why they got accepted to the same law schoolyou did. Sure, there will be small differences, and that will be what determines who's at the top and who's in the middle or bottom, but that's nothing that can be counted on, and all it takes is one unforseen bad thing (like a flu a day or two before the test) to throw you off your game.
I've managed to maintain my scholly @ SJU, but until you've walked out of a final exam with no clue whether you even passed (let alone did well), there's no way that you can really understand how unpredictable grades are. With that said, make your decision as if you were only going to have the scholly for 1 year. At BU, the 'good standing' requirement sounds ALOT easier to maintain... perhaps you could get SJU to match that requirement? That seems like the winning play if you can make it...
Good luck,
Rob

PS: I've got a host of good things to say about SJU... the faculty, the facilities, the classes and extracurricular opportunities... but I can't give you a frame of reference in comparison to BU - and I don't really have time for this until after finals are over. Damn Constitutional Law... ;-)
St. John's University School of Law '11
Part-time PM Division
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iamprov

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Re: Help! St. Johns vs Boston University
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2009, 12:46:47 PM »
I would go with BU... It places well in NY and as the other posts state, being in the top half is not as easy as it sounds...  Also, check out the LRAP programs of each school.  I'll bet BUs is better.
Albany Law School Class of 2010

manyquestionz

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Re: Help! St. Johns vs Boston University
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 03:50:02 PM »
BU all the way.

RobWreck

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Re: Help! St. Johns vs Boston University
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009, 05:04:12 PM »
After posting not once but twice about factors that may suggest BU as the better choice, all I have to say is make up your own mind and don't let anonymous strangers on the internet actually have an impact on such an important decision. Do your own research and weigh the factors for yourself... think of it as your first balancing test (of which you'll run into many regardless of which law school you attend).
Good luck,
Rob
St. John's University School of Law '11
Part-time PM Division
Admitted in NY